It’s been a month (and a couple of days) since I brought home my first new car, after driving a classic from 1995 for the last 16 years, so even though I generally save my reviews for AFTER I’ve finished something, I’ve gained enough experience here to make an exception.
Obviously, after jumping into a ride that is 19 years newer than my previous car, I was in for a bit of a shock. The 2014 Civic has pick-up and go in ways that I wasn’t accustomed to at all; for the first few days, I found myself driving along the freeway and glancing down to notice that I was going 90 mph, simply because it was that much easier to do so in this car than in my last one. It’s been an absolute pleasure being able to actually turn into traffic, change lanes, and be at the front of the line at a stop light without having to worry about whether or not my car can pick up the pace for surrounding cars. Again, I’m not exactly driving a race car, but for me, I’m just glad to have a car that moves… and moves well 🙂 . The steering wheel is on the small side, too (like a sports car), and it’s just been really, really fun to drive.
I wasn’t sure what color I was going to go with, originally, even though I had my preferences. Getting another white Civic would’ve been humorous, but I thought the blue and crimson red were rather nice, as well. Due to availability, and the fact that the darker colors were too dark when I saw them in person, I ended up with silver.. and I’m glad I did. It’s rather sharp-looking, not as bold as the white, and with the exterior chrome accents, it looks like a fancier car than it is. I mean, to ME it’s freakin’ Future Car… but to the general public, it’s just “nice,” so this sleek exterior really adds some cosmetic polish to it. Speaking of nice, I’m interested in keeping it that way: regular washings, the interior doesn’t have any trash or random treasures. No dead bees mummifying under the rear window or stuffed animals in the back seat, this time 😉 .
Feature-wise, this car is just wonderful… even if I have some minor grievances. The heater and AC system is strong as heck; the first night driving home, I had to turn the heater down to its lowest setting and then off after heating up the inside for a few minutes. Believe me, that is NOT one of my grievances. Having stereo controls on the steering wheel is darn nice (a feature I enjoyed on the old family Volvo I learned to drive in), though it’s almost a necessity with how far away the actual stereo is. I can reach it, sure, but I do wish that the stereo and climate controls were switched with one another on the console… I can easily change the air settings, but I have to stretch a bit to get to the radio. Having a screen for radio info and the back-up camera is nice, too, though I wish I could see both my trip meter and the odometer at the same time. It’s fun that I can set the trip meter to reset whenever I fill my gas tank up, and there are a lot of other little settings I’ve adjusted (auto-locking the doors when I hit a certain speed, unlocking them when I put the car in Park, etc.), so the little details that I don’t like are far outweighed by the ones that I do.
I’ve also really enjoyed the heck out of the Bluetooth and phone capabilities of this car. My phone automatically connects whenever I start my car, and it’s nice to have it ready to go if I want it. Haha, the range is actually pretty good, too, because I forgot my phone at home one day, and as I pulled into the garage it connected 😉 . I’ve enjoyed being able to listen to Pandora through my car stereo, and the car drives so well and feels so great in my hands, that during one of my first nights driving home in it, my Pandora station turned to the theme track from Batman Begins and I looked to my empty passenger seat and gruffly yelled, “Rachel!!” That’s the kinda fun this car elicits 😉 . The 2014 Civic also offers a voice recognition system that I was able to set up so that I can push a button and say, “Call Nick Reiber,” and it bloody dials Nick Rieber! Look, I know I may sound like an old man who has just discovered color TV, but this is brilliantly fun stuff, I tell ya. Apparently, the microphone quality is really good, too – even better than when I use my actual phone. My first couple of callers had no inkling that I was calling through my car until I told them. It’s also made a couple of drives home from school in traffic a bit nicer, being able to easily chat with a friend for a spell.
Mostly, though, I just like driving around feeling like Batman.
The only real issue I have with the car is the front seat. During my quick education on current car models back before I bought my new Civic, I’d read complaints online about how the lumbar support for this generation (and 2015, too) was far too much. The headrests supposedly leaned too far forward, too, causing for a very odd body positioning. During my test drive, I noticed that my head was pushed too far forward, and that made me nervous… and then sad that it might break this car for me. I was able to mitigate the headrest by leaning the seat back a bit, but after a month of driving, I find that it’s still not perfect. The lumbar seems spotty, as well… some days it’s annoying, while other days I’m able to slink into just the right spot. I feel like I should be sitting about an inch above the corner of the seat, and doing that just might fix all of my seat issues. It’s not a deal-breaker, and I can generally find a decent position to sit in while driving, but when Honda offered me a survey about my new purchase, the one complaint I had was the uncomfortable seats (mainly the horrible headrest that really juts forward for some insane reason). From what I understand, this is just the result of new requirements, and I’ve noticed it in some other cars, as well. Thanks, Obama.
Besides this little quibble that I’ve found ways to adjust to, I really do love my 2014 Civic. I really stinkin’ do. It drives smoothly, it looks grand, and I look forward to getting into it whenever I’m coming or going. I’m still experimenting with things like how my gas mileage fairs with Eco mode turned On vs Off (I hit almost 400 miles on my last tank, Eco on), but in other ways I’ve become really comfortable with this car already. On a personal note, it feels great to have been able to put down such a large amount and financed it at a low rate all by myself. It’s a fantastic grown-up ride to carry me into my upcoming career and beyond – a car for my adult life 🙂 .
Grade: A- (if it weren’t for the seat annoyances, A+)